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The top 10 theme park stories of 2007

2007-12-31

By Robert Niles: As my neighborhood fills with RVs, portable toilets, drivers cruising in classic cars and thousands of folks camping on the sidewalks, I'm seeking a moment's refuge in TPI's traffic logs for 2007. Here are the most-clicked-to stories on the Blog Flume in 2007:

  1. Teenage girl injured at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom
  2. SeaWorld's Aquatica water park to blend slides with animal habitats
  3. 2006 theme park attendance data released (finally!)
  4. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter comes to Universal Orlando
  5. New Disney attraction concept art released
  6. Accident at Cedar Point's Magnum hurts three
  7. Rumors swirl over 'Harry Potter Island' at Universal Orlando
  8. Walt Disney Company linked to project in Branson
  9. Universal Studios Hollywood unveils its 2007 Halloween Horror Nights
  10. 2007 Theme Park Insider Awards: What is the world's best theme park?

Let's put up for a vote: I've included what I think were the most newsworthy stories from the top 10 list, as well as one story that just missed the top-10 traffic cut-off:



Explain your pick for the biggest story of 2007 in the comments, please.

Readers' Opinions

From Robert Niles on December 31, 2007 at 3:27 PM
FWIW, I think that the number one *non story*, year after year is a close battle between "Disney's buying land near our town for a new Disneyland" and "Six Flags is building a park in Florida."

The reality? Disney's not going to cannibalize its multibillion-dollar investments in Anaheim and Central Florida, and Six Flags hasn't built a theme park since the 1970s.

From Mark Walker on December 31, 2007 at 3:50 PM
(Sigh) As usual nothing British comes up...


But anyway, it's been a good year for theme parks and I've unbiasedly voted for the 'Harry Potter Land' announcemant.

From Mark Hollamon on January 1, 2008 at 7:43 AM
I guess for me it is the Aquatica announcement. I am eager to see what it is like and hope it is the upscale attraction they promised. As a local, Wet and Wild is not a great option. Lots of slides, but the atmosphere is not what I want. I love both Disney waterparks, but they can get super crowded in the summer, so another choice is good.

Will this mark the end of Wet and Wild? That talk has been buzzing around these parts for a while.

From Robert OGrosky on January 1, 2008 at 8:55 AM
For me the biggest story was the girl getting hurt at SFKK.
IMHO this story received the most press of any story and will be in the news alot this year as the testing of the cable/lawsuit goes forward. And this incident will also be used by Markey to push for federal legislation of theme parks.
So I think this was the biggest story and will also have lasting impact on the theme park industry for awhile
From Claudine Deshaies on January 1, 2008 at 5:46 PM
I, too, had to vote for the girl who lost her feet. For me it was because I love rides and this story made me think. I don't ever go on a ride really thinking that something bad will happen. It's something you joke about to scare the people with you, but don't believe. Feeling safe on a ride is what lets you really have fun.
So while all the other stories are interesting, they just didn't impact me as much.
From Scottland Jacobson on January 1, 2008 at 6:24 PM
I'm with the the previous 2 entries on the girl from SFKK. This was just such a horrendous accident - and the girl wasn't doing anything but riding the attraction "safely." That one really scared me.
From David Sutter on January 2, 2008 at 4:50 AM
The sad part is it wasnt Six Flags that caused it. As stated it was poor ride design buy Itmann. As far as Goverment saftey guild lines. I feel all states should have a Amusmentpark Saftey Dept. And all parks, inculding Disney should have to submit to inspections by the state...This has been in place in New Jersey for years, And works well Great Adventure has one of the best historys in the industry because of it.
From DV M on January 2, 2008 at 1:39 PM
I think the biggest theme park story of 2007 is missing from your list. That story being the unnecessary closing of Geauga Lake by Cedar Fair. While Cedar Fair may have had many business reasons to justify their decision, the fact that Parques Reunidos would buy Kennywooed and its family of parks proves that under the right ownership Geauga Lake could have flouished. The closing of this great regional park (and its next door neighbor, Sea World, earlier in the decade) is a terrible loss for the Cleveland/Akron metro area but should cause all theme park fans sadness. Geauga Lake is the biggest story of 2007!

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